I am sure you have heard this adage before: “It’s not what you know, but who you know”. I think it’s old fashioned. This phrase may be spot on for business, but if you are in job hunting mode what you should really be thinking is: It’s not who you know, it’s who wants to know you.
Networking is an important part of job-hunting, but the key to successful networking and ultimately successful job hunting is networks and contacts with real relationships.
Successful Job Hunting
Ulterior Return on Relationship (UROR)
To me, building up a network of friends and business relationships with key, knowledgeable and most importantly, trusted individuals is one of the best things you can spend your time doing. I enjoy meeting new people and I do my best to connect and stay connected if I can see a mutual UROR.
I am not talking about incessant LinkedIn connection and endorsement hunting or collecting stacks of business cards that you will keep in your contact folders and never use. What I refer to is the art of creating relationships that add value to your life and your business – most importantly – on a mutual level.
Anybody can go to an event and come home with somebody’s business card but that’s completely wasted effort unless you intend to make use of it.
When I get a business card or a new contact via social media or even just mobile, I make sure that I send a personalised email or message to each one where I see the potential for mutual added value. However, I don’t mean one of those terrible copy and paste messages where you just change the name. I’m talking about a fresh and personalised message, with content relating to the conversation that was had upon meeting or connecting. I regularly meet new people through my blogs and my coaching work and I stay in touch if I sense or receive signals for a UROR.
With social media playing a much greater role in how we network, the age of who wants to know you is becoming ever more important, and with this comes the responsibility of monitoring what you want people to know about you and more importantly how you stay in touch.
Twitter is a great tool for networking and job hunting
I regularly recommend my job hunting clients to use Twitter as a great tool for networking, maintaining relationships and creating new ones. Having people know about you is a great asset because then you are also reaching out to that individual’s network as well. In a Twitter sense, every retweet is access to a new network.
In an offline sense, if somebody recommends your work to a friend or a client in a meeting, it can have a great impact upon your business. Twitter is effective and fast and very NOW. It is closer to effective networking than LinkedIn or Facebook.
Most opportunities come from developing the right connections and relationships. Most disconnections and mistakes come from standing still. So don’t freeze – get active and nurture your network, your friends and your business contacts.
So, my question to you is, how much do you know about your subject/chosen field? More importantly, how many people know that you know so much about your chosen field? It’s simple, you can be the best business development or IT specialist person in the world, but if nobody knows you are then does it really count?
Forget about your 500 LinkedIn connections and your 900 Facebook friends, what matters is not Who You Know, But Who Wants To Know You.
If you want your network to care about you when you are in job hunting mode, then you need to care and share with your network first.
Job hunting sucks, we all know that, but it gets easier if you nurture your network in those days when you have a job, not just when you need a job. So connect, share and network and remember to hunt wisely!